24 Jan
24Jan

Lovers kissing at the train station, strange looking men seemingly control a harem of fifteen women, an actress that missed her train on her way to Notting Hill, a forgotten wallet, husband and wife separated and a woman with a doubled coloured hair are some of the highlight of my London Train And Tube journey for today. Join me in this journey through London this year as I bring to you the day to day interesting things I encounter on the train and tube.

Morning  

I got to the East Croydon Train station at about 10:47. The next train to Victoria Station was 11:48. I ran for the platform to catch the train and then I saw the train moving. Other potential passengers were running too. I thought the train was pulling away. ‘Oh no!’ I shouted. Then ran faster than before, outrunning everyone else. Then I realised that the train was in fact pulling unto the platform. Have you ever been in that situation where you misread the variable within the context? Yeah! It does happen often, and we acct inappropriately. One of the best ways to manage this is to read the context of our situation carefully. Doing this will prevent a lot of embarrassment and wrong judgement of others.

I stepped on the train. Peak time was over. I like traveling at this period when the train is almost empty. I picked out the new mini and foldable keyboard I bought for the purpose of typing on my iPad on the train, connected it to my iPad with an adaptable C connector and typed away. I didn’t pay much attention to what was going on around me. There were two white gentlemen sitting on the other side of the isle to me. One wore sight aiding glasses staring out through the window. The other was scrolling through his phone. I think, staring out through the window is a better use of one’s time on the train especially if you’re traveling through nature and not through the bricks, metals, and glasses of the London metropolis.

The train was stalled a bit just before getting into the Victoria station and the driver informed us of waiting for a space with an apology. That was cool. In London, most of the time, where there is a minor delay in services, apologies are offered, and customers seems not to complain so much.

And I walked to my platform in the underground. I went through an average crowd in Victoria station. I saw a young lady with a checked woolly trench coat like the checked board of a chess. I saw a set up by the Save The Children, probably asking for donation with their red branded clothing. One of the ladies smiled at me probably calling for s conversation but I passed by like someone who don’t care much about what they are doing. I think I do care about what the organisation is doing but I was not in the mood for such charity that morning. The crowd was going to and fro and a young man with twisted short hair caught my attention. The hair looks unkept, but I still prefer them to ten thousand wigs and attachment. Fo some reason, my attachment to the natural order seems to alienate me from the unnecessary changes people make to alter nature.

As I passed through the underground station, I saw a group of women, between the age of 18 and 50, about 15 in total, white but not English looking. They all had a cabin bag, looking as if they are a traveling group going for a picnic or a camping activity. I observed something odd with the group as well. There were 2 rugged looking men standing by them, as if weighing authority over them. They were tall, huge, like they spend so much time and resources tending to their physique. As as I looked, I saw that the bigger of the men has a mohawk hairstyle, blond hair, tied into a bun at the back. They too looked like they are from either the traveling community or there is something sinister going on, like the men having a certain authority over the women. So, it will be a harem really and the men kind of either live of the women. There would be a form of transaction going on, an agreement that involves some kind of subjugation that could also involve sexual abuse. The way the women were looking subdued sure means something. I judge and analyse everything I see these days.

At my platform as I climbed down the short flight of stairs, about 10 steps, I ran into a crowd on the platform and in that crowd something beautiful was happening. A young woman in her late 20s was kissing her lover passionately. She was doing most of the head stretching and bending and the kissing. The Asian looking young man with his hair tied into a bun, black, wet and jelly creamed. He just stood there straight as if he was doing the lady a favor by accepting her kisses. As I walked towards the section of the platform where I would wait for the coming train in the next one minute, I saw some school children, between 10 and 15, I really don’t know, most of them black. They look like a grey patch in what looks like the crowd of of white people in their unflattering clothes. The kids were dressed in uniform mostly of grey shade and they looked very engaged. They were talking to each other in pairs, threes, and other group formation. One of the young girls looked at me, smiled and said something to her Neighbour. I didn’t hear whatever it was she said. I smiled back and went along.

When the train arrived, I stepped on the train and turned to the left. The two seats next to the door were vacant. A woman was ahead of me, and she was going to take one and I the other. When she was about to sit, she stood, turned around as if looking for someone. ‘Are you with someone?’ I asked. ‘Yes. He is over there, about to sit down.’ She said. ‘Oh! I can leave so you to sit with your husband.’ I said smiling. I was willing to let her sit with her husband or partner if it means sacrificing my seat. I really don’t mind. They were older, around 60 or 70. ‘Don’t worry, he will be alright.’ She said. I walked over to the man who was already sat and said, ‘You can go over to sit with your wife.’ ‘It’s fine. Thank you.’ He said. He began adjusting the lace of his shoes and I bent over to him and said, ‘I don’t want to put asunder what God has joined together.’ He smiled and said. ‘Its alright.’ As I turned toward the woman, she was smiling while another middle-aged woman was trying to take the seat I left with hesitation. We sat and enjoyed our trips till we got to Sloan Square train station. A vivacious woman stepped on the train. She wore this pair of baggy blue jeans that became a wide frustum, widening as it descends until it swallowed her shoes at the bottom. She wore a cowgirl hat over a healthy neck that grew out of a white buttoned-down shirt. She was English by accent but lack all the reservation and subtilty of the average English woman. She was on her way to Notting Hill. Nothing Hill being what it’s, the woman definitely looks like an actress in her declining days in the industry. ‘Will this train get to Notting Hill? She asked nobody in particular. But there was a group of 4 women there in their late 60s, standing around one of the poles provided in the tube for support that responded with an excitement. ‘Don’t think so.’ ‘Oh!’ She said. ‘This train is heading for Wimbledon.’ The one with a big smile said. Her teeth are large and they look fake. They all craned their necks and started looking at the routes printed in the descending ceiling of the tube. ‘You would have to change.’ A lady siting advised. ‘Yes. Change at South Kensington.'

At South Kensington train station, I detrained, walked down the 5 flights of stairs, offered to help a woman to take a buggy down the stair while her toddler walked along. She declined. And I and walked along the tunnel and into a man singing ‘Let It Be’ by the Beatles. The sound that was coming from the guitar he was playing was sonorous. And when he began sing, his voice was delicious. I made a 10 second video of him and donated £2 pounds by tapping on the provided card reader that has been preprogrammed for £2. I walked along to the office, made a cup of tea, typed my blog post on the iPad with the new mini keyboard and began the day’s work.

Evening

I was very busy throughout the day designing the flyer for my meet the author and book signing event. I didn’t work much on my project. I did a good job and sent it to all my contact on WhatsApp. I have received series of congratulations. So, I set of for the train station. Then I had a call from my elder brother, and we spoke at length while I climbed from the 8th floor where I have my office. I could have used the elevator but that would have jammed the network. I walked to the station responding to the congratulations on my WhatsApp, stopping to wait for the green man at the traffic light. When I got to the barrier at the station, I couldn’t find my wallet. I knew that it was not stolen. I must have forgotten it at the office. I placed my bag in a metallic cabinet where Metro and Evening Standard keep their newspapers for passengers for free. There were about four Evening Standard newspapers left. While I struggled through the content of my bag searching for my wallet, a tall and huge man walked up to me and said, ‘Can I have a paper please? I want one of the papers.’ His English accent was crisp, his beard, a mixture of white, grey and sand, his frame, huge firm and fit. I handed one to him and he left me alone. I reloaded the content of bag, certain that the wallet was in the office.

I went back to the office through the underground tunnel and the journey was shorter than I feared. The campus was almost deserted now, most of the people left are Chinese student. I went for my wallet and came back through the tunnel. I took photographs of the printed advert graphics on the wall of the train station while passengers passed by. I was thinking about what they were thinking about me taking photographs of adverts. I have my own reason and I am not going to tell you yet.

I step on the tube and there was not much going on. Nothing stood out. I travelled until Victoria station. It was almost deserted but for some people sitting on the arch seats that circle around the sections where tickets are sold. It was 8:00 pm and the next train was in 5 minutes. I tapped in, walked into the train, took a seat and picked a friends call. He was talking about some applications he was making to a university in the United State. I told him we will continue the conversation tomorrow as the sound was becoming distorted because of the moving train. Some of the people that overhead my conversation kind of reacted in a certain way. The white woman who was sitting in front of me had to to apply more make up to her lips. The two black ladies siting on the other isle looked at me in weird and impressed facial expression. I mentioned professor, transcript, universities in the US send 27thousands dollars. That is enough to to turn heads. None of the money was mine though. When we got off the train at my station, one of the black ladies with her hair-coloured light gold placed herself in my line of vision. I had to walk pass her. She was walking a bit slow probably expecting a conversation. If I had started one, she would have oblige me.

I went to the bus station for the last phase of my journey. I thought I won’t see anything special while I waited for my bus. But there it was. In the next bus station. The bus stop I was at has four stops that are closely connected. They serve different buses and different route. At the station directly next to mine was seated a woman. She was acutely waiting for the next bus. The thing that was special about her was her hairstyle. Her Caucasian head of hair was split into two equal halves. As she was seated with her back to me, the right side was white, the left was black. If I were to stand face to face with her, the side of her head facing my left eye would be white and the other black. It was not a cap. It is possible it’s a wig but I doubt it. I have seen blue, pink, white and all forms of hair colouration. The one they favour the most is blond, People buy peroxide to make their hair blond, but black and white on he same hair I have never seen before until this evening. Our world is a mosaic of different identities, attitudes, and styles.

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